Monday, March 17, 2014

Turkish Coffee

Usually, I know what the story is. 
Life seems to segment itself sort of naturally, and so you collect experiences and anecdotes that define what's going on, with you, for those weeks or months. Little stories of who you are and where you're at. 
I've been thinking about March. 
And what a weird, potent, transition month it is. 



The March right after I turned nineteen was magic. I wore a red dress that was too short and too tight. Everyone lived for the weekend. I stood up and tried to hug the wind through the sunroof of Alison's station wagon, like they do in that book, only I had never read that book. And we got drunk and went swimming at three am and afterwards I sat, shivering and braless in the diner that played heavy metal, and ate hashbrowns and migas, feeling so happy it hurt. 

The following March was dismal. My heart was fragile as an egg. In an effort to un-slump myself I drank buckets of coffee, ate doughnuts every day, and rode my bike late at night. It felt like nothing was ever going to happen, and actually, that March nothing did. 

This March is like Turkish coffee. 
It tastes a little wild. 
The first sip lasts for only an instant. 
But in that instant, the coffee tastes like an ancient pine tree, or a whole cabinet of spices that sit soft and dusty on your tongue before melting away. 

The other night, I picked up two random German boys on the street, and then Juli├ín came and we ate sunflower seeds and drank cheap beer and went to look for a party on a rooftop terrace, but got lost instead and knocked on a random door and ended up in the apartment of a group of Americans from Maryland. An experience that pretty much sums up my story of March so far, i.e., strangeness and spontaneity, the instability that comes from moving constantly, and always running away from and also sitting with, a specific deep kind of loneliness. 
That is what March feels like. 

I want to wring a story from all this randomness, and give it to you with a cup of Turkish coffee. 
And we'd taste the ancient trees and the dusty spices, but only for a second, and you would maybe smile, maybe cry while I told you the distilled version of this March, the one with a beginning, middle and end. 
But I can't. 
Because March isn't over yet. 

I love you. 
I love you. 
I love you. 

Xoxo

Monday, March 3, 2014

orecchiette

You know the days, when you try to walk away from yourself? 
Rome let me do that. 
Rome let me pound the pavement until I was just tired bones encased in tired skin, with only a hungry stomach and nothing more. 

So I ordered orecchiette. 
Orecchiette in broccoli sauce, with flakes of sausage. 
"It's good?" I asked. 
"It's ok." The waiter smiled down at me. 

So I said that's fine, and some kind of white wine please, whatever is the best. 
And the waiter smiled down at me, and brought olive bread that was pretty but dry, and wine that was good, and then pasta that was better. 

The pasta. 


Hot and fresh and simple. 

I melted. 

Lately, my soul has been in need of melting. 

Something about traveling, and constantly moving, is that I'm constantly adjusting and readjusting to fresh places and fresh people. It's fascinating and lovely, but extraordinarily intense, and often a little drunk. These spontaneous and fleeting connections-- some of which last for no more than a few hours, often leave me gasping for air. 
Like a punch of personality to the gut.

I vascillate between vulnerability and abrasiveness: constantly being aware of strangers eyes crawling down my legs, hair, the small of my back, and the fear of being whistled at or followed. 
And then also letting people in-- tell me your story, let me tell you mine, do you want a bite of this? Sharing sharing sharing in the limited time frame that being in a place for only 48 hours allows you to share. 


But every now and then, something undoes me-- and I find myself forgetting about the fear, and forgetting about how much I'm telling, and the protective shell around my heart softens. 

Have you ever had a song that leaves you seeping and weeping everytime you listen to it in the car? Or a person who leaves you joyous and raw? Or an experience that left you empty and whole at the same time? 

This is what the food of Italy does to me-- like it's so good nothing can really be better, which is, really, quite tragic. 

And that orecchiette-- oh lover. 
It undid me. 

And despite all my tired bones and tired skin--

I melted.